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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Acer To Load Android - Not Windows
Story from Daily Finance

Taiwan's Acer has been on a tear recently. The company gobbled up Gateway quite a while back and has been a top maker of red-hot netbook PCs so far this year. The PC maker has now said that it will be featuring Google, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) 's Android operating system on future netbooks as an alternative to what it ships on most of its netbooks -- Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) aging Windows XP operating system.

The difference here is that while Microsoft XP still may cost a little to Acer and all other PC makers circulating netbooks on the market, Android is a freely-available, open-source product. Acer won't pay a dime for each copy of Android in installs on its netbooks, which -- interestingly enough -- may be the first real head-to-head equitable competition between Google and Microsoft.

Even though the two internet behemoths already compete head-to-head in the mobile space, this is the first time they'll duel each other in the actual PC space with operating systems.

Acer no doubt will be able to offer future netbooks for lower prices with Android installed, and it will be interesting to see if consumers really prefer Windows XP for their Acer netbook or if the operating system really doesn't matter that much.

If email, web, word processing, spreadsheets and the usual suspects are offered through Android, does one really need Windows on an Acer netbook? Possibly -- Windows ships on the lion's share of netbooks from all manufacturers right now. Linux-based netbooks have been slow to catch on as consumers apparently feel more at home with Windows than with anything else. But still, would a "Powered by Google" moniker make more consumers take the plunge and move away from Windows XP? This will be an interesting battle to watch.